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Reed

Marlborough, NH, United States | Member Since 2007

ratings
23
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (45)

    When the Shah of Iran is overthrown, that nation's turmoil captures the world's attention. Caught in this shifting world of fanaticism, ambition, duplicity, heartbreak, and violent death are the foreign helicopter pilots who have been servicing the oilfields up and down the country. Their one objective is to make a bold, concerted escape, with their helicopters, to safety across the Gulf.

    Jean says: "The fall of the Shah"
    "Not Clavell's best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from James Clavell and/or John Lee?

    I am a huge fan of Clavell and also of John Lee's narration of other Clavell books.


    Was Escape worth the listening time?

    Fundamentally yes, but having read most of James Clavell's more epic works set in Asia, this one was not up to that standard. What I have always enjoyed about his major characters is their bred-in-the-bone instinct for survival in wildly perilous situations. These characters were the opposite: in wildly perilous circumstances, they did one fantastically dumb thing after the next, though they do this heroically. That makes for a much less interesting story than when characters survive by guile.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Daniel James Brown
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (938)
    Performance
    (857)
    Story
    (866)

    Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

    Benoibe says: "Best book of the year!"
    "Wish I could give it six stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great story, great writing, great narration. Against the backdrop of the Depression, the deep determination of these boys, especially Joe, on whom the story centers, is absolutely riveting. The author is a master storyteller, and his tale is compelling, uplifting, and rich with the flavor of those times. Loved Edward Hermann as a narrator, and my standards for narrators are high. This is the best book I've listened to in recent memory.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Antony and Cleopatra

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Colleen McCullough
    • Narrated By Sneha Mathan
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (32)

    Mark Antony, famous warrior and legendary lover, expects that he will be Julius Caesar's successor. But when Caesar is murdered, his 18-year-old nephew, Octavian, is named as his heir. No one, least of all Antony, expects Octavian to last; but his youth and slight frame conceal a remarkable determination and a sharp strategic mind. Under Octavian's rule, the empire is divided, with Antony responsible for the fabulously rich East. There he meets Cleopatra.

    Amazon Customer says: "Not in the least disappointed"
    "I tried, but could not get into it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to admit that I didn't get that far into this book before deciding that the dissonance of the narrator's American accent swamped my determination to differentiate and get to know these characters.

    Contrast the narration of Antony and Cleo to the brilliant performance of Simon Jones reading Robert Harris's Imperium series -- or don't, as Simon Jones and his ilk are so much better at bringing characters to life through nuance in speech that comparison would be odious. The best of the British readers are able to define a great deal about a character by dialect and patois, making it much easier to keep track of a vast cast in a long story. In my experience listening to "Rome-themed" books, American narrators who would be perfectly acceptable reading a contemporary novel rarely ring true reading characters from ancient history. I found myself having to rewind again and again to recall who was speaking, and I finally gave up. It didn't help that the story wasn't immediately compelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Clifton Chronicles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings
    Overall
    (402)
    Performance
    (342)
    Story
    (348)

    Be Careful What You Wish For opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to the hospital to learn the fate of their son, Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. But who died, Sebastian or his best friend Bruno? When Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to replace him. But Don Pedro Martinez intends to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, in order to destroy the Barrington family firm just as the company plans to build its new luxury liner, the MV Buckingham.

    cristina says: "The demise of a great, fun author"
    "Entertaining yarn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So what if taking the story forward relies on one highly improbable coincidence after the next. It's good fun anyway!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1270)
    Performance
    (600)
    Story
    (605)

    When Tiro, the confidential secretary (and slave) of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually propel his master into one of the most suspenseful courtroom dramas in history.

    Karen says: "Great Naration, Great Book"
    "For fans of intelligent storytelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My prior knowledge of Cicero was gleaned entirely from his fairly minor role in HBO's bawdy, totally over-the-top series "Rome," so I can't begin to comment on the historical accuracy of this fictionalized biography, but I loved it! The storytelling was oddly riveting, especially considering how mundane the details of Cicero's law practice must have been in reality, and the narration was nothing short of brilliant. I gulped this down and went straight to gorging on Conspirata. Can't wait for the next installment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Burnable Book: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Bruce Holsinger
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (53)

    London, 1385: Surrounded by ruthless courtiers - including his powerful uncle, John of Gaunt, and Gaunt's artful mistress, Katherine Swynford - England's young king, Richard II, is in mortal peril. Songs are heard across London - catchy verses said to originate from an ancient book that prophesies the ends of England's kings - and among the book's predictions is Richard's assassination. Only a few powerful men know that the cryptic lines derive from a "burnable book", a seditious work that threatens the stability of the realm.

    Patrick M. Dennis says: "Couldn't Be Better!"
    "promise not quite fulfilled"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story started out in a promising way, but the plot became complicated without being commensurately clever. There were quite a few characters whose motives were rather vague, and there were none that I pine to hear from again in future books. The story itself wouldn't have earned four stars from me, but it got an extra star for what struck me as authenticity in descriptions of the medieval setting. It was well read, so don't hesitate to try it if you are a fan of historical fiction.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Retreat, Hell!: Book Ten in The Corps Series

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (189)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (165)

    It is the fall of 1950. The Marines have made a pivotal breakthrough at Inchon, but a roller coaster awaits them. The bit in his teeth, Douglas MacArthur is intent on surging across the 38th parallel toward the Yalu River, where he is certain no Chinese are waiting for him, while Major Ken McCoy, operating undercover, hears a different story entirely, and is just as intent on nailing down the truth before it is too late.

    Tom says: "Griffin makes war history fun"
    "An unworthy ending to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Retreat, Hell!?

    Where to start? When the series started, Griffin could spend 100 pages describing a day in the life of his characters and keep me interested in what was going to happen to them the next day. Then out of the blue, with this "afterthought" of a conclusion, we pick up the story years later in a different war and speed recklessly to a conclusion that leaves me desperately wishing I had just finished this tale in my own mind instead of entrusting it to the actual author.


    Would you ever listen to anything by W. E. B. Griffin again?

    Of course. I can forgive him a lot for having told a damn good yarn up to this point.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (5203)
    Performance
    (4711)
    Story
    (4723)

    Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someoneto go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

    Clinton says: "Not what I thought it was going to be."
    "If you like cartoonish gore, this book's for you"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Larry Correia and/or Bronson Pinchot?

    There were promising elements in the storyline, but the telling was ham-handed, and had all the finesse of a violent video game.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Larry Correia again?

    Probably not.


    What didn’t you like about Bronson Pinchot’s performance?

    A performer can only do so much with the material he's given.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was certainly shocked that this book had received such good reviews from other listeners.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Signature of All Things: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (889)
    Performance
    (814)
    Story
    (821)

    In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

    Dina says: "An Educational and Epic Oddity"
    "Started with promise but went flat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Elizabeth Gilbert and/or Juliet Stevenson?

    Elizabeth Gilbert deserves an A for effort, and clearly her talent is considerable, but by the halfway mark, I just didn't care any more what happened to any of her characters. There wasn't enough "story" to animate the book's huge mass. By hour 12, I wished I could get a short, tidy condensation of the rest of the story


    Would you recommend The Signature of All Things to your friends? Why or why not?

    It had its moments, but fundamentally, no.


    Do you think The Signature of All Things needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Seriously? What more could possibly be said?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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